Agents of the nation-state or transformative intellectuals? Exploring the conflicting roles of civics teachers in Israel

Aline Muff, Zvi Bekerman

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This article focuses on the role of the civics teacher against the backdrop of the recent political developments in Israel, where the political elite increasingly seeks to underpin citizenship education with a national-religious ideology. As in previous work on this topic by other academics, we draw on Gramsci’s work on cultural hegemony to locate the hegemonic discourse of citizenship education in Israel and focus on the teacher’s role along the spectrum of being an agent of the nation-state to acting as a transformative intellectual. We have interviewed Jewish-Israeli civics teachers to gain a better understanding of how they mediate their role between the different demands that the pojavascript:void(0);litics of civic education in Israel imposes on them. Our findings outline how teachers sometimes tend to reproduce the hegemonic discourse and how they also find ways to rebel against it, drawing on counter-hegemonic strategies in their classroom practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalEducation, Citizenship and Social Justice
Early online date12 Dec 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 12 Dec 2017


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